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Director, Peak Recovery Program, Victoria, B.C.Canada. M.Ed.,University of Toronto. Trained at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto,Canada. Individual and Relationship "Recovery Counselling," Workshops, Seminars and Talks on Peak Recovery, Healing and “A Course In Miracles.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Driven To Hurt

When You Want To Hurt

When our ego control and defenses are close to being shattered, we become very frightened of the unknown and begin to think hurtful thoughts. This is our ego's way of trying and gain control in situations where we feel overwhelmed, helpless, alone and lost. When the ego feels helpless, not in control, alone and lost, it fears the worst, its death. Throughout the ages this experience has been called, "The Dark Night Of The Soul," and yes, has led some to suicide and murder in a final and desperate gesture to gain control when feeling helpless, lost and frightened. This whole experience is like suffering your death, before you die, a process where you are forced to let go of every support you have relied on in the past for your feelings of safety. Fritz Perls, the Gestalt Therapy founder, in an understatement said about this loss of control experience, "To suffer your death and be reborn is not easy."

Although some have lashed out and hurt either themselves and others when faced with the terrifying feelings of losing control, helplessness and possible death, many others with the readiness and courage to risk LETTING GO and GIVING UP CONTROL do ASK FOR HELP and have found that, like the butterfly caterpillar, what looks like death is really CHANGE into a higher form of life that could never be understood or grasped from the less, evolved caterpillar-like state. What looks like death to our ego is really the opportunity to WAKE UP, like in the "Matrix," from our less, evolved physical dream-state of separation and fear. I have tried to demonstrate this potential in the illustrations and short power point slide show I have prepared titled "The Cloud-Layers Of Ego." (See bottom-right margin of this Blog Site.)

Underneath the layers of the mind, body, emotion, (ego) defenses, our ego, sees only death. At this point, by giving up ego defenses and control, letting go and asking for help, we will be led instead into the Peace, Power, Joy and Love of our "Spiritual Identity." Here we are universally connected and safe. You will never believe this truth until you take the risk, give up control and EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF. Those who do gain what Joel Goldsmith calls, "The Mystical Experience Of God Presence." Most have suffered greatly to gain this Truth and experience. Through your suffering, there will come a point of readiness where you will risk giving up your ego control and probably scream out in desperate fear for your life, "God Help Me!" When you do, you will, like Fritz Perls says, be "Reborn" into your Spiritual Identity where you will feel at home and find Peace. I believe every person on this planet is on a path that will eventually lead to an opportunity to discover this same truth. In my mind, when your sensitivity and suffering leads you to feel desperate, it means you are almost ready to experience this, your True Identity. This kind of experience comes to us only when we are ready and none of us have conscious control over the timing of this readiness. What I have attempted to do is prepare you so you might be more willing to take this risk of giving up control and ask for help at those times when you are in deep suffering and frightened to let go. The level of our suffering is in direct proportion to the level of our fear and unwillingness to give up control. The Buddha said, "All suffering is attachment," meaning our attachment to ego control.

As a result, I urge you to allow yourself to feel overwhelmed, helpless and not in control. When you start to feel overwhelmed, helpless and desperate, realize you are indeed alive at the moment. Then give yourself permission to feel helpless and not in control.  Imagine you are like the caterpillar in its cocoon, in a process of change for the better. Since, like the caterpillar, we can never know what is best for us from our limited perspective, give the control of this change to the highest part of your right brain, unconscious mind. Echart Tolle would say, "Accept what is." Pretend you are a little child and allow yourself to give up your control to an unconscious wiser part of yourself who will look after you. ACIM would say, "All things are gently planned by One whose only purpose is our good." This truth has been driven home to me again and again in my life, in hindsight, after going through desperate times of change, pain and fear. Try to keep in mind when you become frightened or in pain that holding on and resisting will increase your suffering. Instead see if you can breathe and let go into it and give it to the Healing Energy within you.

Remember when you feel desperate and want to hurt yourself and others that this only happens when you resist feeling helpless and giving up control. The desire to hurt others or ourselves is always the ego's desperate way of attempting to assert control in fearful and painful situation when we feel helpless, lost and alone. The alternative and more constructive reaction at these times would be to simply accept that you are not in control that you feel lost and need direction and help. A book by Anthony Peaks, “Is there Life After Death,” documents the important support we gain through the right brain part of our unconscious mind at times when we feel we are about to die and give up all hope. This should not be hard to accept when you consider the experience of artists, writers, poets and athletes who are consistently inspired and guided through the right brain, creative or intuitive part of their unconscious mind. When we give up left-brain or ego control, our ego becomes frightened, lost and it feels like death. In truth, we are only turning control over to a higher or Wiser Voice within our mind that has access to unlimited information and strategy.


The next time you feel overwhelmed, desperate and want to hurt yourself or others, openly admit to yourself, out loud if you can, that you feel helpless, not in control and frightened. Then simply breathe fully and on the out breath, let go into this experience. Finally accept you feel helpless and simply say to the wise and healing energy of your right brain, "Help me any way you can." Realize you have accepted the truth of your plight and then realize you can do nothing more. By giving up ego control, you bring stillness and surrender to your left-brain, ego. This allows access to the more wise and better-informed right brain to handle the situation. Inspiration and solutions to your issues may not come immediately. Trust, however, eventually they will be worked out and solved for your greatest good by the Wisdom gained through your right-brain consciousness. I link this right-brain consciousness to our Spiritual Identity, although you may not want to make this link. I think when you link religion with spirituality and reject both, you throw out the baby with the bath water. I encourage you not to make this mistake. The recent Quantum Physics research supports the mystical view of energy or spirit and the illusion of matter. Life as we experience it through our five senses and this physical universe is largely a mess filled with change, fear and separation. It does, however, give us a chance to heal our pain and fear and awaken from this dream of separation. For this opportunity alone, it is both important and essential to our awakening process where we will then find Peace and our True Identity.  These ideas are continued in the next two Blog entries.

David Ott, M.Ed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm
Our Role In Healing Dramas

I am always amazed how innocently we enter and how perfectly we are cast for the relationships and healing dramas we are drawn into. If we or others have a lesson to learn or emotional wounds and fears to experience for healing and release, ego needs, circumstance and opportunity all come together in some unexplainable way to create a perfect storm to shatter all our carefully constructed walls and defenses. In hind site, it looks like some all-knowing writer and director have created the perfect drama and cast the perfect actors to play each and every role. Ego needs, weaknesses and strengths are all taken into account so that the words and actions from each character, including us, flow forth effortlessly to produce the perfect plot, conflict, action and climax.

In order to release and heal our emotional pain and fear we need only experience and suffer through it without blame, anger, or any other defensive strategy. To gain this kind of healing opportunity, it is obvious that all our carefully built controls and defenses need to be shattered so the emotional wounds and fears beneath can be experienced and released. The suffering we experience is directly proportional to the energy we put into resisting or avoiding this process. “What we resist will persist and strengthen.” The healing process is like giving birth. By breathing, experiencing, and letting go into the physical pain on every out breath, we greatly minimize the suffering we experience. The more we resist feeling our pain and fear, the stronger and longer we will suffer. The next time you find yourself feeling hurt and upset in a relationship or healing drama, stop a moment before you lash out with anger, blame, or use any defense. Realize the feeling, releasing and healing of this pain and fear within you is “all this world is for,” (ACIM) the only lasting purpose it can serve and the real reason you are here. See this situation and all the people involved as gathered together by some more knowing and higher part of yourself to assist in your healing and release. Understand this drama has been carefully orchestrated as an opportunity for you to feel and release the layers of pain and fear that keep you separated from your inner Peace and Joy. Choose, this time, to let go your blame, anger and anything else that will rob you of the opportunity to feel and release this heavy body of pain and fear you carry within. This is the way we awaken from our ego’s dream of separation, pain and fear into the Light, Love, Peace and Joy that is our Truth.

Breathe, relax and let go into the upset and pain on every out breath. You will usually find it located somewhere in your heart or abdomen. At the end of every out breath, let go and repeat this simple release and healing prayer. “Spirit, I willingly give you the appearance of this pain and fear and ask you to dissolve it into the nothingness from which it was born.” Then let it go and begin again. The more you can relax and let go the sooner will be your release. Our role is to feel, let go and sink into our pain and fear without resistance. Our Inner, Healing Energy can then release and heal us. The doctor sets and then places a broken bone to rest in a cast. Nature’s Healing Energy or Spirit does the rest. This same Healing Energy, with stillness and surrender, will heal the pain and fear of our Emotion Body too, if we are willing to experience the pain and fear, ask for help and give it over to this Healing Energy within us. Continue this release and healing process until you find some degree of calmness filtering into your consciousness. At first, when your mind wanders into the future or past, your pain and fear will probably reappear and you will need to begin this whole process once again. Take heart, however, with patient persistence, the pain and fear you experience that is always “an appearance only and not the truth,” (Joel Goldsmith) will eventually dissolve like mist in the summer sun and you will then feel much lighter and brighter. Whenever you experience inner upset, pain or fear, you might use the approach suggested by Joel Goldsmith, author of, “The Infinite Way.” Speak directly to the experience of your pain and fear the following: “You are an appearance only and not the truth. I will give you no power over me.” I would then repeat again, “Spirit, I willingly give you the appearance of this pain and fear and ask you to dissolve it into the nothingness from which it was born.” “The ego effects can be dispelled merely by denying their reality.” (ACIM) With patient persistence, this process will eventually succeed and, like learning any skill, becomes easier and more effective with practice.

All relationships house potential for healing dramas with opportunities to experience and release our unconscious pain and fear. Unfortunately, few of us are ready and willing to give up our anger and blame so we can feel and release our pain. Until we can meet and release the pain and fear within us without resistance or defense, their vibration will continue to draw us into painful and fearful dramas with ongoing opportunities for their experience and release. This is the “Law of Attraction.” Every pain and fear we experience and release allows us to open more fully to the Joy and Love beneath the clouds of our fear-based ego. All the relationships and healing dramas we draw to ourselves will either mirror or activate some aspect of the pain and fear we house within our own consciousness. We then gain the opportunity to feel, release and finally “Forgive,” accept without resistance or judgment and overlook with compassion this part of our unconscious mind, not of love, (fear) that has been reflected to us or activated within us by the words and actions of others within our healing drama. Since others only mirror or activate the pain and fear within our own consciousness, by forgiving or overlooking with love and compassion their words and behaviour, as well as our own pain and fear, we are forgiving and healing ourselves. We are also undoing the ego by denying its effects or reality. However real the ego perceptions or effects seem, they are appearances only and not the truth. Because they are effects that were caused by our own ego or fear-based consciousness, they cannot be CAUSAL and therefore can have no real power over us without our attention, acceptance and reaction. Remember always that the only way our ego gains any power is through our own attention and reaction. By overlooking, denying and not reacting to our ego’s effects or perceptions, we dispel it and awaken from our ego’s dream of separation and fear into the light, love peace and joy with in us. This is our True Identity as Spirit. This is the process of Authentic Forgiveness. “A Course In Miracles” proclaims this to be our only legitimate function here.

The experience and release of our pain and fear together with the practice of Authentic Forgiveness within our relationships and healing dramas are the most difficult and essential aspects of our healing and awakening journey in this world. This two-fold process takes readiness, the courage to surrender and a willingness to ask for and accept the help of the Healing Spirit within us. To the extent that we can "Authentically Forgive" others within our relationships and healing dramas, to that extent we gain healing and forgiveness for ourselves. In truth, we do not relate to others but to our own consciousness projected onto them. That is why “A Course In Miracles says, “When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. “

David Ott, M.Ed. 30/08/10.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Underlying Cause of Disease & Suffering

To cure illness and suffering, we need to know the underlying CAUSE. Practitioners are often content to work with and remove the symptoms alone. Unfortunately these symptoms will eventually reactivate within the individual until the route cause of the illness has been dealt with, mentally, emotionally and physically. Joel Goldsmith, a famous spiritual healer in the 50s, founder of “The Infinite Way” movement wrote, “Unless there is a change of consciousness, there will be a re occurrence of the disorder.” (i)

Although it is difficult for our left brain ego to believe or even grasp, keep in mind that before pain and suffering, before illness and disease, before criticism, judgment, blame, anger, and rage, before depression and despair, before suicide or murder, before any destructive, abusive, addictive or compulsive behaviour, we have held within our consciousness for a period of time, perhaps lifetimes, some form of anxiety, pain and fear. The right brain part of our consciousness, with unconscious connection to our Spiritual Identity or Eternal, Energy Self, carries this anxiety, pain and fear into every physical lifetime we choose to learn and grow in, with the underlying pressure to heal and release it. This accounts for the occurrence of childhood cancer, diabetes and other genetic illnesses that occur early in life. It is also likely, our genetic families here hold links to energy or soul families on a spiritual plain and that family fear-based issues may be worked on over many generations until they are finally healed and released. I have noticed, for instance, that throughout my lifetime, I have encountered fear-based physical and emotional issues very similar to those my parents tried to deal with.

If it is difficult for you to accept that illness, disease, addictive, compulsive and destructive behaviour, in addition to various forms of mental, emotional and physical illness and suffering are routed in, or caused by, anxiety and fear, it might be of interest for you to look at the works of Dr. Hans Selier and more recently, Michael Meaney, a Neuroscientist at McGill University, Montreal. Both have studied the effects of the “Stress” (“Fight, Flight, Freeze”) Response on the systems of the body. In the 40s, Selier came to the conclusion that over 75% of the reasons why patients visit medical doctors are directly or indirectly related to this Stress, Fear or Adrenaline response. At the time he was laughed out of a medical conference for this suggestion. Now the ultra conservative medical profession, as a whole, has admitted that this percentage is probably above 85%.

The issue to understand here is that this stress or fear response, if extended over a period of time, drains energy causing an "Energy Crisis" and changes to our body chemistry, which then compromises our immunity and many other body systems. It also raises our blood pressure and blocks enzyme and insulin production often resulting in food, environmental allergies and diabetes. Anyone connected with sports or physical and mental activity of any kinds knows that most mistakes and accidents occur when the mind and body are tired and weak. When we are rested, exercise and eat properly, free from pain and fear, our mind and body have the innate ability to function well and, in most cases, protect themselves from accidents, illness and disease. Unfortunately, in this fast-paced, modern age of change and stress, we lose focus and fall prey to the devastation brought about by this “Fear” or “Adrenalin” Response.

The first thing we need to do to protect ourselves from this devastation is, whenever possible, place ourselves in relationships, jobs and situations where, for the most part, we feel happy, supported, successful and unthreatened. Since we live in a world filled with change, pain, fear and loss to varying degrees, it would be naive to think we could accomplish this goal throughout our entire life. We can, however, counteract the devastation of this “Fear Response” with the “Relaxation Response,” through various forms of meditation and relaxation practices. The goal of these practices is simply to “QUIET” or “STILL” the Left Brain part of our Mind, Body, Emotion (ego) self for periods of time each day. This allows access to the Life-Force Energy and Peace that flows naturally through the Right Brain part of our unconscious mind. Research has consistently shown that individuals who practise meditation or other forms of relaxation response techniques prevent, or recover from, illness, disease, and surgery much faster than individuals who do not. For this reason, I encourage you to explore these techniques to see if you are ready and able to use them to assist in your own disease prevention and healing. You will find information about these techniques on the “Zone” page of my “Peak Recovery” web site.

Finally, it might be worthwhile to explore and understand the importance of healing the unconscious body of pain and fear we carry within our consciousness. Whenever these wounds and fears surface within in the relationships and situations we encounter here, the “Fear Response” is activated once again. Then we usually react with some form of defensive response like criticism, judgment, blame, anger, muscle tension or flight, all of which block the possibility for their healing and release. One of the prime reasons our souls choose to journey in this physical universe is to gain the opportunity to physically experience our emotional pain and fear. To heal and release it, we need first to feel it. How else would we know it exist within us? By clearing these wounds and fears, we automatically awaken more fully into the peace and joy we experience through the “right brain,” part of our unconscious mind. These wounds and fears, along with the defences we use to avoid them, which Echart Tolle calls our “Pain Body,” (ii) act like heavy clouds to hide from us the peace and joy we carry deep within our unconscious mind. See the " Cloud Layers Of Ego" illustration at the end of this Blog.

The mystics have always known and the research of quantum physics is now proving that the world we experience with our five senses is projected from within our own consciousness. This means that until we release the emotional wounds and fears we carry within our consciousness, through the “Law Of Attraction,” they will continue to be activated and reflected in the relationships, activities and situations we encounter here. As long as we avoid experiencing them through distraction, sedation, blame, anger and other destructive coping choices, they will return again and again to haunt us. Then we will begin to live our lives in a state of fear-based worry, control, defence and attack that will eventually drain our energy creating an "Energy Crisis," causing illness and block our joy as well as the ability to love and relate to others. Sadly, this is the state of mind of vast numbers of people here on this planet. Pain and fear-based dramas are continually being acted out within individuals, relationships, families and nations. Whenever we get hurt or frightened, our ego perceives our suffering as caused by a person or situation outside us and immediately begins to defend against or attack it. In order to heal, it is essential that we begin to understand and accept that the pain and fear within us has attracted, projected and manifested this situation, person or drama giving us the opportunity to feel, acknowledge and ultimately, to heal and release it from our consciousness.

To do this, slowly begin to train yourself to view and accept that the frightening and painful situations and relationship dramas you experience have be initiated from within your own consciousness and that this gives you and opportunity to heal and release the pain and fear so they will not return. Next, whenever you begin to experience any form of pain or fear, begin to breathe more fully. Let go or relax into the physical experience of this pain or fear on every out breath. You will find this physical experience somewhere in the area of your heart or abdomen. Continue this form of out breath surrender until you begin to relax a little and your desire to attack, defend or run lessens. Then address the Healing Energy within you with these words: “Help me to accept without resistance or judgment and overlook with compassion this part of me not of love (fear) that has been projected, reflected and activated in my dream of separation here. I willingly give it to You to dissolve into the nothingness from which it was born.” Continue to breathe slowly and fully for the next two minutes, remembering to let go and relax on every out breath. "A Course In Miracles" makes it clear that whatever we willingly give to the healing energy within us that is not of love (of fear) will eventually dissolve like mist in the summer sun. A doctor does not heal a broken bone. He places it at rest or still in a cast so the Healing Energy within can mend the break. It might be helpful for you to appreciate that, through mental stillness and surrender, you are releasing your fears and wounds to this same energy. Is it not likely it will heal and the wounds and fears within your emotional body too? I encourage you to experiment with this method for at least a month. If you do, you will find, I am sure, an ever-increasing freedom from the painful and fearful dramas you experience in your life and relationships. The following three articles from my “Peak Recovery” web site may help to further clarify this topic:

David Ott, M.Ed.

i Joel Goldsmith, “Consciousness Transformed” Hawaii Hotel Talks, page 13

ii Echart Tolle, “The Power Of Now,”